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Leslie Fountain: Why join Foolproof?

17th December 2018

Leslie heads up our experience design practice, she’s been here for nearly a decade and has seen us grow and flourish as a business.

In this Q & A you’ll find out all about what she thinks makes Foolproof different, what she does day-to-day, her view on our mission and why she believes Foolproof is an inspiring place to work if you want to grow and develop as part of our team.


What makes Foolproof such a great place to work and how do we differentiate ourselves from other agencies?

It’s really interesting. There are a number of other experience design agencies like Foolproof but our size allows you to grow quite quickly. If you think of development - and some people think that development just means being promoted - staying really focussed and niche and aligned to one skillset can be limiting. I think what Foolproof boasts is a breadth of experience, skills and knowledge with real depth. The fact that our work is so wide-ranging means our people develop without feeling as though they have to move jobs.

I know a lot of designers who feel that - to fuel their ability to grow - they have to jump around, from company to company. At Foolproof, you really don’t need to because of the breadth of what we do, the people we have here and the industries we work within means you can stay at Foolproof and not miss out on that experience.

Really, what I’m saying is there’s something for everyone here so long as you have a growth mindset. As long as you truly believe in the human centred design approach and evidence-based creativity, there’s something for you here.

As the Executive Director of Practice, what does your role entail, and which departments do you take care of and oversee?

My role is varied and all-encompassing. Though, first and foremost, I coordinate the entire experience design team which includes a wide array of practices such as: insight, studio (including devs, both front-end and back), strategists and delivery management teams.

I also ensure that each discipline has its own micro-culture because development and incentivisation are unique to each. Here at Foolproof, we’ve created multi-disciplinary teams to facilitate deep learning and execute on delivering great experiences for our clients and their customers.

What does the company's vision and mission mean and how do you ensure that the teams you oversee understand and practically implement that on a daily basis?

Our vision is about improving the lives of millions around the world. It’s not a hard one, it’s just down to the people we hire. If that’s not part of someone’s DNA, we would think twice about hiring them. I think the other thing we look for, when hiring, is people who are just as passionate about our clients as they are about their customers. I like people who are inquisitive too…

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping our clients understand how they can create competitive advantage and/or improve their own performance through being customer-centric is definitely the most rewarding part of my role.

As the head of both insight practice and our studio, what tools are in place to ensure your teams have a healthy work/life balance and a continual stream of interesting work?

We need to recognise that work/life balance is relative. We have some flexibility in the way people work, it’s giving the chance for people to make good decisions for themselves and giving them the right tools, parameters and working environment. When we think about striking the right work/life balance, I think we’ve created some really great policies that enable people to be able to be parents and have families or be carers and still work. This means our people can be the best they can be in their home life as well as at work. 

In terms of helping people to grow when they are at work, we have good line management structure. We work really hard to ensure line managers meet regularly with those they manage and it’s about working closely with them and resourcing to think about what are people focusing on in terms of development – we try to resource them on the right projects. Not everyone will get exactly what they want because it depends on availability and what projects are coming up in the pipeline – but what line managers do is speak to resourcing and client services about what’s coming up making them the voice of the people they look after. We then align our teams to their development plans.

If you think you might:
  • Share our vision and strive to nurture your own skillset, you are encouraged to visit our dedicated careers page, for a complete list of our current openings.
While more information on Leslie, her responsibilities and motivations, can be found here.

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